Farmers’ knowledge and management practices of weeds in rice fields in Cote D’Ivoire
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is one of the most consumed cereal food crops in the world, in particular in sub-Saharan Africa. However, in Cote d’Ivoire its production faces severe competition from weed infestation. This study was carried out to identify practices and traditional management methods of weeds in rice fields from Cote d’Ivoire that can be used in an integrated weed managment package with less pesticide usage. A survey was conducted among 396 farmers in three locations (six villages per area) of rice production in Cote d’Ivoire, using semi-structured interviews and field observations. The results revealed that upland, irrigated and lowland rice were cultivated in the study areas. In rice fields, the main weeds difficult to control were Cyperus rotundus, Eleusine indica, Oryza longistaminata, Porophyllum ruderale and Rottboellia cochinchinensis. Biological control and a combination of chemical and manual methods were used to manage the weeds due to their resistance to most of the herbicides. The farmers cited 23 plant species (seven herbicidal and 16 allelopathics) used for the control of weeds. Studies of these plants in the effective control of weeds would be worthwhile to explore the development of alternative to chemical controls, less harmful to humans, crops and environment.
Key words: Cote d’Ivoire, knowledge, management, rice, rice farmers, weeds